Familiar Strangers

If you travel everyday in a Mumbai local, then you are bound to have certain trains (and their times) in your mind. For e.g – I take the 8.24 Churchgate Slow from Andheri in the morning, if I miss that, then there is the 8.45 Churchgate Slow and the 8.51 Churchgate Slow, etc.

Most of the people think in these terms, so its obvious that you keep on seeing the same people everyday in your trains. Its their train as well. The mousy faced fellow, the guy who keeps on playing on his Nokia N-series, the guy who carries the Milton dabba. You see them, you have placed them and even named them … but what you don’t do, is befriend them. Maybe over a period of time, the ice breaks and you become good friends, but that takes many a train journey. The strangest thing is – that when you see the same person anywhere out of this morning train context, you still recognize him … and you see that spark on recognition in their eyes as well. But, you don’t talk. Strange aint it?


I had gone to a friend’s place today to see his new born baby. Babblo* has a cute little daughter – I hope she doesnt take her looks from her dad!

So we got talking as friends do when they meet after a long time. Our favorite “R” word did come up. and so did the job switch. I see so many people who do not love their jobs, that I wonder has anybody written a paper on this? (let’s figure that out later)

This guy works for one of the big 4 consultancies, has been working with that firm for the past 4 years now. A job that any Systems MBA would kill for … yes, present company included :-) But I know the hours are long and the gyaan is hot. It requires the sheer dedication that dissolves my resolve to get into a post like that. Again, this is not the point, moving on …

Babblo’s reason for wanting to switch is that he does not see himself becoming one of the head honchoes and top guys in the next 5-6 years. He see himself reach the middle echelons of the organization, but still sees miles to go before he sleeps. Hence, the idea of moving out and getting into a different vertical altogether. A new stint even a startup. Have you imagined a guy who eats, sleeps, breathes ITIL trying to get things done in a startup? A comic strip on these lines can rival Dilbert :-D. Moot point being that Babblo (of course its not the true name!!) is actually turned off by the certainty of the job.

I cant identify with this funda. I for one would love some certainty on knowing what I will be doing 5-6 years down the line. Its easy to bluff, but do I really KNOW what I will be doing … hmmmmm … web surely, technology definitely, startup – could be, big hulking monolithic organization – sure why not, just pay me well!! I don’t know which is better – the certainty or the uncertainty!

Do you really need that?

That is the question you should be asking yourself whenever you are about to buy something.

If you are not clear then, check out this site. The content is presented by Anne Leonard, who manages to deliver the message so clearly and logically; it’s a shame that we did not notice it earlier. We Indians are copying the western culture to the hilt, so much so that we are trying to adopt the same practices at work, at home, at how we treat things, becoming more of consumers and less of contributors.

Half of the stuff that we buy, do we really need that? A new phone, a brand new gaming desktop (I was thinking of getting this one), a flat screen tv, a dishwasher, an A/C, the list goes on. And once we buy that, we dont stop … we keep on buying newer versions of that. Our perceived obsolescence drives us to trash our already existing goods for the sake of the newer and better. Such a waste.

Please go through the site – storyofstuff.com. And try to make a difference.

Then and Now

My first job was in IRIS, in the year 2002. I loved my job. I had joined with seven other software engineers. We bonded really well together. We used to work on different projects, but lunched together … discussed problems, solved them … and generally helped each other out. Life was good, life was beautiful. I loved my life of a programmer. Our batch was one of the best the organization had, in fact some of us were awarded as the most valuable programmer, et al. No, I am not being modest :-), but we loved helping each other out … contributing to the organization.

My last job was in I2I. It was a simple transaction for me. I went to work, I stayed there till 6.30pm everyday, I came back – the company paid me for it. The very transactional nature of this perspective made me shudder … I had to leave the organization in search of greener pastures.

My new job is with Illumine, where the culture of the organization is to actualize the paradigm shift from transactional thinking of a job to contribution thinking. Will post more on this later, but at the moment think about it. Is your job a transaction for you?

Summers here

  • Mangoes, mmmm …. yummm
  • When ice-cream, cold-drink and A/C sales spike up
  • School vacations, ahhh … those were the best. No more pencils, no more books … no more teachers’ dirty looks
  • When employees report early to office and stay beyond their normal time in order to stay in the cool recesses of their offices’ central A/C
  • When you want to discard everything else in life and head towards a beach and have some beers … read Goa!! :-)
  • Time for the Harry Potter films to come out and gather a throng of kids (and their parents) in the theaters
  • Shorter clothes ;-)
  • Families migrating towards hill stations

Summer gets me all nostalgic, what about you?

Mumbai Police

Just a note of appreciation towards the Mumbai police force. Today my entire family and I had gone to the police station for verification of our passport. Since the marriage, this is one of our initiatives :-)

The police officer came to our house and gave us the time and date for reporting to the police station. The D-Day arrived and we reported to the station on time. Everything was done so smoothly and efficiently.

I am mentioning it specifically, because this was unlike all the other government offices I have been to since marriage viz., marriage certificate, name change registrar, et al. This office was spic and span, tidy and manned by a very efficient person – Inspector S. M. Rane. Kudos!!